How Can We Create Jobs? – 2017

(This is an expanded version of a piece I wrote over four years ago. The U.S. economy is better now than it was then, but the question is still important.) — In 1992 James Carville, Bill Clinton’s campaign manager, famously coined the phrase, “The Economy, Stupid.” The phrase went viral as it was transformed into, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Today, in 2017, many observers claim that Carville’s slogan still applies. “It’s (still) the economy, stupid,” a lesson the Democrats failed to remember.

Our Unintelligent Intelligence “Services”

Recent security breaches at the White House have focused attention on the failures of our security and intelligence services. The poor performance of these organizations is not new. And while opposition politicians act as if these failures just started under the Obama administration, I can remember a number of them from years past in my…

Wrecking ball labeled "politics" destroying a monument to civility

How Can We Save Democracy from Our Own Irrationality?

Recent studies confirm that when people holding false beliefs are confronted by facts contradicting those beliefs, not only do they fail to reject their false beliefs, but they believe them even more strongly than before.* Philosophers, political scientists and social psychologists have long noted the irrational aspects of human nature. Nonetheless, one of the cornerstones…

Phot of U.S. Capitol at night with captions: The Shutdown is Over. The Debt Ceiling Has been Lifted. - Until we do it all over again in 90 days.

When Politics Become Personal

Now that the latest manufactured political crisis is over, we can breathe easier for a couple months. We don’t have to worry about the government being shut down or a default on U.S. debt – until the next set of deadlines in about 90 days.  Are we are supposed to feel good, until the crowd…

Power house worker adjusting a steam pump

How Can We Create Jobs in the U.S.?

As we approach the end of this campaign season, both candidates are talking about jobs. It’s about time. The employment outlook is still bleak. Unemployment is running around 8.5% nationally, and is much higher among the young and minorities. It appears to me that neither Democrats nor Republicans have advanced any truly convincing ideas of…

Shanghai, China - Pudong District Skyline

Who Benefits When China “Cheats”?

In this election season much has been made of the claim that China cheats economically, and because of this, we in the United States are worse off. Mitt Romney has made China’s cheating a major talking point of his campaign, and President Obama has recently filed trade violation actions against China at the World Trade…

Arghandab Valley near Khandahar, Afghanistan. Credit: Wikipedia.org 

The Massacre at Kandahar

In the never-ending cycle of tragedy we see daily in the news, I find it difficult to react appropriately to one event before the next one leaves me numb. Ever since the news of the massacre at Kandahar, allegedly committed by Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, I have wanted to write something meaningful about this atrocity.…